Hole depth...40 inches???


Old 05-11-04, 01:36 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Hole depth...40 inches???

My local building official says that my deck post holes must be 40" deep. I tried digging one this weekend and got to 30" before I hit ledge and/or other unremovable rock.

I live in southern new england.

Can I make a good argument to him that the ledge at the 30" level in most of the holes is enough protection, or is that irrelevant for frost heaves and other considerations?

Old 05-11-04, 02:40 PM
Hellrazor's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Eastern USA
Posts: 1,038
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
about 3' is standard depth for here in PA. The minimum i will go is 32", its rare you get frost that deep here. But.. it has been that deep twice in the last 5 years.
Old 05-11-04, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
If the holes have to be 40" deep, you are gonna have to dig them 40". If you hit a rock the size of a Volkswagen at 30", you MIGHT be able to dig around one edge to a depth of over 45" and show that to the inspector, and he MIGHT let it go.

The REASON for the holes being that deep, in your case is frost, and the associated frost heave. If you want the deck to be level in 3 or 4 years, it's not a corner that you want to try cutting!
Old 05-12-04, 06:42 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Yeah, lefty, that's what I figured.

I am going to rent a two person auger with my brother in law this weekend and do my best to go down to 40". I'd rather do it right and have the peace of mind than always looking over my shoulder every time a town truck drives by (i.e. if I didn't pull a permit).

As an aside, thankfully I had my sprinkler guy come out and check my proposed holes - I had marked 2 holes right above piping that I thought was at least 2 feet to the other side! He moved it out of the way and now I'm good to go...

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: